On April 26, 1937 German planes appeared in the sky over Gernika, Euskal Herria, Spain. Approaching from the north there was no early warning on that Monday morning and it was market day. The town was bombed, it civilian structures decimated, many citizens killed. Men, women and children were killed indiscriminately. When the smoke cleared, what had been a quaint village with bars, shops apartments and churches had been turned into the earliest image of the effects of Blitzkrieg. Death tolls were small only in comparison to the seven digit figures to which the world would soon accustom itself. If the Spanish Civil War was, as some have said, the beginning of World War II, then the bombing of Gernika was the hinge on which western civilization would swing. Gernika was a harbinger of the atrocities of which fascism, in all its forms, was capable.
The next few articles posted here will be devoted to many facets of Gernika, the bombing and representation of the town, bombing, people and culture. It is the focal point of a Master's Thesis in history. Hopefully it may be well represented here.